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BRI Ventures Closes First Round of New Indonesian Tech Fund

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(Bloomberg) -- BRI Ventures, the corporate venture arm of state-owned PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia, said it completed the first close of a planned 300 billion rupiah ($21 million) tech fund.

The so-called Sembrani Nusantara Fund raised more than 150 billion rupiah from investors including Grab Holdings Inc., Celebes Capital, Investree, Fazz Financial Group and prominent Indonesian investor Pandu Sjahrir.

BRI Ventures plans to use the new capital to make early-stage investments in education, agro-maritime, retail, transportation and health care in Indonesia, the largest internet market in Southeast Asia with almost 300 million people.

The firm aims to finance small and medium-sized companies and help them go digital. The strategy plays to Bank BRI’s strength as one of the largest lenders in Indonesia specializing in microfinance, said Nicko Widjaja, chief executive officer of BRI Ventures.

Read more: Indonesia’s Oldest Bank Taps Veteran Venture Capitalist

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